"Shaker Aamer" - PJ Harvey [Free Download & Soundcloud Stream]

Catherine Eklund

by Catherine Eklund

Published August 4, 2013

British rocker / singer PJ Harvey revealed a new track this weekend titled "Shaker Aamer" that's available as a free download. The track is named after British resident Shaker Aamer who has spent the last 11 years detained in Guantánamo Bay, without charge or trial. Although Aamer was cleared for release in 2007 by the Bush administration and again in 2009 by the Obama administration, he remains detained.

Shaker Aamer has a wife and four children currently living in south London, waiting along with the British government for his release. The United States announced it is set to restart transfers from the prison, with concerns remaining that Aamer may be "forcibly sent to Saudi Arabia and imprisoned there instead of being reunited with his family in the UK."

According to The Guardian, Shaker Aamer recently alleged that "prison guards have been sexually assaulting him and that he is subject daily to often violent 'forced cell extractions'."

PJ Harvey's song describes how Shaker Aamer has suffered on hunger strike for the past four months, protesting his indefinite and illegal detention:

"No water for three days. /
I cannot sleep, or stay awake. /
Four months hunger strike. /
Am I dead, or am I alive? /
With metal tubes we are force fed."

Aamer's lawyer Clive Stafford Smith commented on PJ Harvey's song,

"We hope people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer's plight: detained for 11 years, without charge or trial - despite having been cleared for release by both Bush and Obama...The UK government must do everything it can to bring Shaker back home to his wife and kids in London, where he belongs. PJ Harvey has written a wonderful song – I know Shaker will be deeply moved by it, and I only hope that, with the support of the public, he will one day be able to listen to it in freedom."

PJ Harvey's "Shaker Aamer" lyrics:

"No water for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.
Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?
With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.
Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker Aamer, your friend.
In Camp 5, eleven years.
Never charged. Six years cleared.
They took away my one note pad,
and then refused to give it back.
I can’t think straight, I write, then stop.
Your friend Shaker Aamer. Lost.
The guards just do what they’re told,
the doctors just do what they’re told.
Like an old car I’m rusting away.
Your friend, Shaker. Guantanamo Bay.
Don't forget."


Source: The Guardian

PJ Harvey
Alt Rock Rock
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